M&S trustees appoint advisors amid takeover bid

UK – The trustees of the Marks & Spencer pension scheme have appointed financial, public relations and legal advisors as the retailer seeks ways to deal with a proposed takeover from tycoon Philip Green.

Marks & Spencer’s corporate press office confirmed that Smithfield Financial is acting as public relations advisor to the trustees.

Newspaper reports have named Credit Suisse First Boston and Linklaters as the trustees’ financial and legal advisors. Both declined to comment.

According to media reports, the trustees – chaired by former M&S director David Norgrove - will meet this week to decide whether to meet Green, who the billionaire pursuing Britain's largest clothing retailer.

The company’s pension arrangements are at the centre of Green’s bid for the company, currently put at 8.4 billion pounds (12.5 billion euros).

His proposed offer last month sought information about the funding status of the firm’s pension schemes following the company’s issuance of a 400 million-pound bond.

Last month pension trustees at WH Smith effectively blocked the £940m (€1.4bn) approach by private equity firm Permira to take the company private.

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